Hunting

After Deer Season Is Over

January comes around and deer season is over. Well, not exactly. This is a great time to scout your woods for next year.

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I like to get in the woods right after season. I look for trails that the deer have recently been traveling. If you wait a few more months when the weather warms, the deers travel pattern may change some. Scouting now gives you real time data that can be used again next year. One thing that I have learned over the years of hunting and scouting is, deer will change their travel patterns often.

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Also, I like to keep an eye out for scrapes and rubs. You can usually find an area of the woods that has been worked over harder by bucks than other areas. Finding these could be key to having success next fall. You may find a big bucks home area where he spends the majority of his time during season.

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Just because you can’t go hunting for deer January, doesn’t mean you can’t get into the woods. Go scouting and you may be surprised by what you find. You may even find an early shed antler. I am sure it will make you a more successful hunter next season.

Hunting

Archery Buying Tips

The sights, sounds, and smells of the fall, make it my favorite time of the year. It just so happens to be deer season too.  I enjoy hunting deer with archery equipment as well as with a muzzleloader. The fact that I only have one shot makes this style of hunting more challenging. The right equipment is critical to having a successful hunt. Here are a few things to keep in mind when choosing archery equipment.

There are a number of great bows on the market. I believe you have to find one that you are confident with and stick with it. Confidence is a huge factor in bow hunting. You must believe you can make the shot. Practice is very important and the more shots you take at different distances, the better you will be.

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The size and shape of the bow is unique to each person. It must fit you correctly to get the most accuracy out of it. Most bows can be adjusted a few inches shorter of longer to make sure the draw length is correct for you.  Make sure to purchase a bow from a dealer or retail store that can set it up properly. If the bow doesn’t fit you, you will never get the full accuracy potential out of the bow.

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Thank you Kevin Harvey for this great photo!

I use a Diamond Outlaw bow. This bow has a let off of 80%. “Let off” is simply the weight you are holding back at full draw. For example, if you are pulling 70 pounds, then you are only holding back 14 pounds at full draw. This makes for much better shots, because you are not shaking and straining to hold the bow back. You can also hold the bow back at full draw for much longer.

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Arrows are very important to the success of your hunt. Carbon arrows are more durable and last longer then the traditional aluminum arrows. When selecting arrows, make sure to follow the guide on back of the package. You want to make sure you get the correct stiffness for your bow setup.

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Broadheads are the last piece of the puzzle, but arguably the most important. There are two main differences in broadheads; fixed blades, versus expendables. Every archery hunter has an opinion on which one is better, but the main factor to consider is accuracy. If you plan on shooting long shots with your bow, than I suggest expandable broadheads. If you mainly shoot under 40 yards, than either style will work.  With my bow set up, the accuracy is the same with both styles of broadheads, under 40 yards. Pick one that you are confident with and stick with it.

There are two main accessories that you must have. The first accessory to have is a good stabilizer.  Stabilizers help balance the bow and help takes some of the vibration out of the shot. I like a shorter stabilizer than most hunters. I don’t want a long stabilizer getting in the way while I hunt.  The second accessory is the release. The release allows for more accurate shots, because you are not holding the string with your fingers. You have to decide if you want a hand held, or wrist release. I have always used a wrist style. I like the wrist style, because once I put it on, I won’t lose it. Handhelds, can be put down and easily lost. Also, handhelds make the bow harder to pull back. I can pull much more weight with my wrist release. There are countless other accessories that can make your bow more accurate, quite, and smooth, but I covered the must haves.

There are lots of things that go into purchasing a bow. I recommend getting help from an experienced archer, before you make your purchase. Good luck and shoot straight.